Whale Trust Maui’s School Outreach Programs

Whale Trust Maui is committed to encouraging the next generation to get excited about protecting the world’s oceans by providing them with first-hand opportunities to learn about whales and the ocean at an early age. We strive to engage students of all ages in marine education and conservation by developing programs suited to their particular skill levels and interests.

On this page we highlight some of our favorite educational programs, past and present, with elementary and high schools around the nation.

Spotlight! Mahalo Sacred Hearts Academy!

Six Sacred Heart Academy eighth grade students made a memorable impression and impact at our annual Whale Tales 2013 event. Wanting to find a way to participate in a meaningful way, the students designed and created a reflection book on the event. Inspired by their drawings and enthusiasm, hundreds of attendees, volunteers and presenters joined in on the fun and jotted down their reflections and drew sketches about their experience at Whale Tales 2013. The final result was fantastic for everyone! We can’t wait to see what they come up with for Whale Tales 2014!

Schoolyard Films Partners with Whale Trust Maui

Schoolyard Films partnered with Whale Trust Maui during the winter of 2013 to bring whales into classrooms around the nation. The program will highlight the research of Whale Trust Maui research team and Rachel Cartwright of the Keiki Kohala Foundation. The film and corresponding curriculum will be delivered into K-12 classrooms free via iTunes this fall! Stay tuned for more.

Lahainaluna High School – From the Field to the Lab

Lahainaluna High School seniors are currently working alongside Whale Trust Maui researchers and biophysicists to determine if one day we might be able to determine pregnancy or reproductive cycles in free-ranging humpback whales.

For the last several years, the students have been analyzing tissue and blubber samples collected by Whale Trust Maui researchers to determine the sex of individuals (using DNA from skin samples) and to determine whether we can reliably measure the reproductive status of female humpbacks through hormones stored in the blubber of whales (e.g., estriol, estradiol).

In addition to the students working on the science, videography student, Tihani Cadiam Moore, filmed and produced a video of the student’s experiences and was featured on HIKI NO, the nation’s first statewide student news network on PBS Hawaii.

This ongoing project is part of a science education initiative led by Whale Trust Maui, Makana Aloha Foundation and Lahainaluna High School to provide mentorship opportunities for local students in the marine sciences.

Looking Back …
Migrating Humpback Whales Connect Students in Hawaii and Alaska

In 2009, Whale Trust Maui initiated a collaborative arts and education project to help connect two elementary schools in Hawaii and Alaska through humpback whales. Students participating in the project spent five months researching humpback whales, listening to speakers from the scientific community, writing stories, journaling about what they learned and writing and producing plays and DVD’s of their work (see below). They also created a traveling artistic mural of their journey.